Facebook is always looking for a status update: "What's on your mind?" or "What's happening?" Well, here's the status update I've been waiting for, my friends.
When I returned home from my ride this morning, I showed my husband my shirt, covered in mud and poop from cleaning the hooves of a horse that had been standing outside in a very mucky paddock.
"You're covered in shit," he said. "You are now officially a country girl."
Do you know how happy those words made me? Officially a country girl!
Particularly because, at a book event this Sunday past, I read from the Field Notes essay about hanging with my friend Sue at her family's dairy farm when I was a young girl:
"To me, the visitor from Ontario, Sue was clever and confident, walking behind cows without fear of their switching tails, helping lug cans full of warm milk to the tank, unfazed by the manure that as everywhere, including her shoes and jeans. It didn't upset her a bit; it was part of being an honest-to-goodness farm girl."
Learning to ride a horse -- facing fears that turned out not to be fears at all, gaining confidence around switching tails, heavy hooves and big mouths -- is the best thing I've ever done (besides marry my Nova Scotia country boy). When one is experiencing something as simple yet as transformative as riding as horse, what's a little dirt among friends?
I'm not fazed by the mud and the manure one bit, not even when it's flinging off the hoof pick into my hair.